5 British Easter Traditions
Easter is the holiday in April when billions of Christians around the world remember the resurrection (new life) of Jesus. Considering this holiday is 2,000 years old, it’s no surprise to hear that lots of Easter celebrations today are very traditional.
Some crazy customs around the world include children dressing up as witches in Finland, decorating trees with tobacco and cigarettes in Papua New Guinea and making butter into little lambs in Russia.
Even though Easter is a Christian holiday, there is plenty of fun for non-religious people to have. Today we are going to look at some of the odd and unusual traditions that take place every year in Britain.
Easter egg hunt
This is probably the most well known and most enjoyable Easter tradition in Britain because it involves every child’s favourite part of the holiday - chocolate eggs!
Adults wake up early on Easter Sunday and hide tasty treats in their garden or house (remember that it rains a lot in Britain!) and then challenge the children to find them. If the youngsters are lucky enough to find the eggs then their prize is being allowed to eat them.
Almost every British person will have done an egg hunt in April when they were younger and lots of children continue to enjoy them today.
Hot cross buns
These aren’t quite as weird as they sound. A hot cross bun is a sweet, baked bun with fruit and spices inside. They’re marked with a cross on the top, which is a reference to the crucifixion of Jesus. The spices on the inside represent the spices that were used to embalm (preserve) Jesus’ body when he was buried.
Children won’t get quite as excited about hot cross buns as they will about chocolate eggs, but this food is still very popular in Britain at Easter and will be sold in every supermarket over the holiday season. They’re usually eaten on Good Friday with a nice cup of English tea - something we at LevelUp English definitely approve of!
This tradition is very old-fashioned and might not be one that younger children in Britain today know much about. It involves dancing around a big, tall wooden beam while holding colourful ribbons. Believe it or not, there’s one maypole in the North of England that’s nearly 100ft tall!
Maypole dancing first happened in Britain 650 years ago and it still occurs today in some parts of the country. Although it does look like fun, we don’t think it’s quite as appealing as an Easter egg hunt!
In the past, before children were lucky enough to get chocolate eggs, they would enjoy themselves by decorating real eggs with paint. Although this custom is old, it’s still something that kids enjoy today. They might draw little chicks or pictures of Jesus on the eggshells, which are then put on display for everyone to see.
This tradition isn’t quite as tasty as hot cross buns or chocolate eggs but it’s lots of fun and very creative!
Easter egg rolling
Egg rolling is exactly what it sounds like. During Easter British people boil eggs, to make them hard on the inside, then roll them from the top of a hill all the way to the bottom. Most of the time, lots of people roll their eggs at the same time and race to the bottom. Sometimes people will use eggs that they have decorated with paint.
This is another custom that’s centuries-old but is still enjoyed by millions of British people every year. In some parts of the country, hundreds of people meet in the same place to race against each other (as you can see in this video).
There are lots of weird and wonderful Easter traditions in Britain. Some sound like more fun (and more delicious!) than others, but they’re all enjoyable if you give them a chance. Why not have a go?
By Barnaby Kellaway
LevelUp Blog Writer
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